Updated: Sep 30, 2020
Are you interested in creating an online store? In today’s article, you’ll learn how to create an online store with answers to common questions.
So, what is an online store or ecommerce business?
An online store or ecommerce business is where you sell products or services online – think about anytime you have bought something online.
And, you don’t have to be a huge online store or have a ton of cash in order to have a successful online store.
Yes, this means that YOU can create an online store, even if you have no experience.
According to OptinMonster, 4 trillion people are expected to shop online in 2020. By 2023, 91% of the US will be shopping online too. 25% of Americans shop online at least once per month as well.
This just shows you how crazy big running an online store is becoming!
Running an online store can be a great business for you for many reasons such as:
It may allow you to have a more flexible work schedule;
You are your own boss;
Your income level is not limited – you can earn a really nice income through an online business.
If you already have a brick and mortar store, starting an online store for your business can help you grow your business enormously.
Whether you are looking to start a brand new online store or if you are wanting to create an online storefront for your brick and mortar store, today’s article should be extremely helpful for you.
Here are answers to common questions on creating an online store.
What types of online stores can be started? What can be sold?
There are many online stores out there, and this will just continue to grow for pretty much forever. More and more people conduct much of their shopping online, and this isn’t just through big stores like Target or Amazon.
Smaller online shops are a big part of this as well – and this will continue to grow.
There are many different types of online stores that you could have.
To decide what you’ll sell, you’ll want to think hard, as this will probably be the hardest part about starting an online store!
Items you could sell include:
The list is pretty much endless.
To figure out what you’ll sell, I recommend reading How to Craft The Perfect Product and Brand For The Online Market.
Where does the product come from?
Figuring out where your items will come from (the items that you sell) can come from a variety of ways as well. You may wholesale items online, make them yourself (such as handmade jewelry), have items produced (for example, you may find a product that you like from a wholesaler. You then purchase it from them at a wholesale price, then sell it at a retail price. The difference would be your profit.), and so on.
When working with a wholesaler or manufacturer, they produce the product, which can allow you to create a lot more products than if you were hand making it yourself.
When looking for a product to sell, this may mean that you use a sourcing website like Alibaba, finding a wholesale company that sells products you are interested in, using Etsy Wholesale, and so on.
Another option is to hire a dropshipper. This is a method of selling online in which you find a company and list their products in your online store. This way, you don’t have to actually have any inventory or deal with shipping the items you sell through your online store.
How much money can an online store make?
There is no limit to how much money an online store can make. It all just depends on how you market your online store, the products you sell, and so on.
How do you manage shipping for your online store?
When you receive orders, you may decide to package and ship the items yourself through the post office or UPS, or you may hire a shipping service.
If you use a dropshipping service, they ship the item directly for you.
How do you receive payment with an online store?
There are many options to receive payment such as through PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and more.
How do you drive traffic to an online store?
To drive traffic to your online store, there are many things that you could do. You could:
Share your online store on social media (such as on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest);
Create paid advertising online for your online store;
Build an email newsletter list;
Build Google search traffic;
Start a blog for your online store; and so on.
I highly recommend reading the guide – Driving Traffic To Your Online Store.
What are the steps needed to start creating an online store?
I want to put all of the steps in one nice easy-to-read section so that you can see that this is possible for you!
Determine what you will sell in your online store. This could be clothing, household goods, and so on.
Figure out where you will get your products from.
Choose an ecommerce platform, such as BigCommerce. This will mean purchasing your domain name, creating your design, and more.
Drive traffic to your online store.
BigCommerce vs Shopify
If you’re thinking about creating an online store, then you are probably wondering if you should be on BigCommerce or Shopify.
Here are some differences between BigCommerce and Shopify:
Store owners can save around $6,000 to $20,000 per year in app subscription costs with BigCommerce.
BigCommerce online store owners have the option to use special rates through PayPal Powered by Braintree, but if a merchant wants to use a different gateway, there are no additional transaction fees. This is different from Shopify in that you will have to pay extra transaction fees if you don’t use their Shopify Payments, which range from 0.5% to 2%.
BigCommerce has valuable SEO features, such as customizable URLs to improve search ranks
Shopify and BigCommerce both have responsive designs and include a content delivery network to help deliver photos and other files based on the location of the visitor. However, BigCommerce merchants also have Akamai Image Manager automatically enabled on all Stencil themes. This feature automatically resizes images to the best combination of size, quality and file format suited for each image and device.
You can learn more about the differences between BigCommerce and Shopify here.
If you want to start an online store, BigCommerce is a great place to begin.
BigCommerce really focuses on helping you to improve your ecommerce business, with lots of features available to online store owners.
Features of BigCommerce include:
24/7 support from BigCommerce
Multi-channel selling across Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
You can choose a design template to make it easy to launch your online business
All BigCommerce templates are mobile responsive (this is especially important in today’s world – most people shop through their cellphone!)
There are many options to receive payment such as through PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and more
BigCommerce provides built-in conversion features, such as one-page checkout, abandoned cart saver, and more
Over 70 types of built-in discount and coupon options: From a single location in your control panel, you can set up flash sales, percentage discounts, dollar-off discounts, product bundling, shipping discounts, or promotions like buy one, get one free If you have an in-person store – you can automatically sync brick-and-mortar sales, inventory and revenue to the back-end.
BigCommerce plans start at $29.95 per month and go up from there depending on the needs of your business. Right now, they are offering 3 months free to help get you started!
And, they have many in-depth resources to get you started with your own online business as well. I recommend starting with the below first.
Are you interested in creating an online store? What other questions do you have about how to start an online store?